There are several similarities and differences between Maya Angelou's "Champion of the World" and Amy Tan's "Fish Cheeks." In both stories, the main character is trying to fit in with a group of which they are inherently not a part of. Angelou tries to fit in with the elder African Americans in that she copies their feelings of hope that Joe always full name or only last name will win the fight, and Tan tries to become a typical white American girl in order to attract a boy that she likes. Angelou, being so young, mirrors the adults’ desire for the triumph of Joe Louis, who is viewed as the representative and hero of the oppression experienced by all black people. Because Conjunction beginning a sentence of all the blacks gathered in the store, Angelou is surrounded by blacks who are proudly rooting for Louis’ triumph, the African-American victory over decades of oppression suffered at the hands of whites. She is filled with this desire to win and is unashamed to take pride in her ethnicity. Unlike Angelou, Tan is ashamed of her race and wants to fit in with Americans. Double line spacing only
Being a teenager, Tan struggles with finding her own identity; she wants to change who she is in order to become like the Americans around her. Tan is ashamed of her Chinese heritage, and tries to become Americanized to impress a boy. Tan being older has a more opinionated response than Angelou, as Tan's situation is more personal. Angelou’s character has a more mature want for change while Tan’s is more superficial and non-understanding of culture. Angelou expresses pride and the will to fight for her race; Tan shows embarrassment about her Chinese culture and expresses her desire to be American. Angelou focuses on the suspense of the fight, which is created by the details in the direct quotations of the announcer on the radio that make one feel as if they are in the scene and involved in the situation. Angelou thinks and worries about the struggles of African Americans...
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